Turkey’s African outreach is aimed at sustainable development of all

Untold India December 27, 2021

By Asad Mirza Recently, the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit was held in Istanbul from 16 to 19 December. The first Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit was held in Istanbul, the second in Malabo. Over 100 government ministers and 16 presidents from Africa attended the summit, which was held under the theme, ‘Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity’. Africa — market of the future Cooperation between Ankara and Africa, which is steadily increasing, is of vital importance to Turkey. Trade volume between Turkey and Africa is enormous. Economist Guven Sak of the Turkish Institute for Economic Policy (TEPAV) in a recent interview said “Continental Africa has the world’s youngest population and also its fastest population growth.” According to United Nations estimates, Africa’s population will have at least tripled by 2100, growing to over four billion. Sak sees expanded relations as a natural result of investment opportunities in the areas of urban infrastructure, logistics, energy and construction besides the fact that Africa is extremely rich — both in traditional as well as renewable energy resources. A growing network of ties Relations between the two regions kicked-off on a positive note and improved dramatically since Ankara declared 2005 “Africa Year.” Turkey’s central government realised that lucrative business opportunities were to be found in industrial production and construction. In addition Turkish businesses and non-governmental organisations, especially those working in the education sector, established a presence on the continent. Growing business ties also resulted in improved diplomatic ties. Turkey has been a “strategic partner” to the African Union since 2008, conducting meetings with African heads of state and government. Military cooperation Security ties between Turkey and the continent have also increased considerably since Erdogan came to power in 2014. Somalia, Turkey’s doorway to sub-Saharan Africa, has been the site of TURKSOM — Turkey’s largest overseas military base — since 2017. Therefore, arms exports were a big topic at the Istanbul summit. Turkish arms and aeronautics exports to Ethiopia, for instance, shot from around $235,000 in January to nearly $94.6 million in November according to the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly. Sales to Angola, Chad and Morocco have seen similar jumps. One of Turkey’s best-selling items is the Bayraktar TB2 combat and surveillance drone. It has been used in a number of conflicts and has proven itself highly effective. Reuters recently reported that Morocco and Tunisia took delivery of Turkish combat drones in September, adding that a large number of other African nations have also voiced their interest as well. Turkey’s trade with Africa surpassed $25.3 billion last year, and this figure has already reached $30 billion in the first 11 months of 2021. Africa’s potential With the area it covers on the international level, its geo-strategic position, and the economic and commercial potential it has, Africa has become one of the most important actors of the 21st century. The advantageous investment opportunities it has as a continent and the relations it recently developed with different countries and regions have begun to make Africa a centre of attraction in all areas. The president of the African Union in his address called for a sturdy collaboration between Africa and Turkey against terrorism, and that sustaining peace and safety on the continent is vital for attaining maintainable development. Talking about the summit, Felix Tshisekedi, ruler of the Democratic Republic of Congo, confirmed Africa’s trust in Turkey’s proficiency in several fields, stating: “Africa needs concrete projects in the areas of trade, infrastructure, agricultural development, governance, and health.” He stated, “In some parts of Africa, unfortunately, there is instability and insecurity due to terrorist activities. Therefore, it is a must to ensure peace and security in order to move forward,” emphasising the necessity for collaboration in the face of terrorism. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also called for African representation at the UNSC. At the summit he said it is a “great injustice” that the African continent, with its population of 1.3 billion, is not represented at the UN Security Council. Referring to his slogan, “the world is bigger than five,” protesting the unrepresentative setup of the UN Security Council, Erdogan said Turkey’s efforts were also meant for its brothers and sisters in Africa, as well. Bilateral ties boosted The summit also helped Turkey in reviving old ties with nations like Egypt and Libya. Egypt and Turkey are two regional heavyweights. They used to be good partners but broke off all diplomatic ties in 2013 following a military coup that overthrew Egypt’s first democratically-elected government, led by the Muslim

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Palestine condemns Israeli settler violence in West Bank

Untold India December 27, 2021

RAMALLAH, Palestine: The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Sunday condemned Israeli settler attacks against Palestinian towns in the occupied West Bank. “Our people have the tools to defend their rights, and no one should underestimate the potential and determination of our people,” PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement cited by the official news agency Wafa. The spokesman termed settler attacks against Palestinian property as “terrorist”. The Palestinian people, he said, have “the ability and determination to thwart all conspiracies being hatched against the Palestinian cause.” Abu Rudeineh called on the international community including the UN, “to intervene urgently to provide international protection for the Palestinian people.” Israeli settlers have stepped up their attacks on Palestinian towns in recent days, amid a spike in violence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate there are about 650,000 settlers living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem. Under international law, all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal.-AA

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